By: Mai Solmer Poulsen
In a large organisation like SDU, furniture is often replaced. This may be due the furniture becoming too worn after years of frequent use. At other times, it may be relatively unused furniture that is no longer used because it no longer fits the task at hand. What should be done with the excess inventory, which for one reason or another is not used and is therefore just sitting gathering dust?
A great deal of furniture that is no longer used, but could be used elsewhere at SDU, ends up in SDU’s used goods exchange. Here, SDU’s employees who need the furniture for work purposes can buy it for DKK 0. However, sometimes furniture is no longer appropriate or no longer lives up to SDU’s standards, which is why it ends up in storage.
The new collaboration
As part of its attempt to contribute to sustainability and reduce excess inventory, SDU has partnered with Daarbak Bop Recycle, a company that buys and sells new and used office furniture. The excess furniture from all over SDU, which will no longer lie around decorating the basement and which does not go into the used goods exchange, will be sorted depending on its condition. Following the sorting process, some of the furniture will be sold while other items will be donated. Furniture that has become very worn and cannot be recycled will be separated into up to 12 different fractions. For example, wooden furniture will be chipped and pressed to form new wooden boards. In this way, the old furniture can be transformed into new and useful products.
“It was important for us to incorporate the SDGs and sustainability so that the resources from the raw materials are reused as much as possible” says Carina Blichfeldt, project coordinator at Technical Services.
Read more: Daarbak Bop Recycle
A trip abroad
The collaboration has meant that more furniture from SDU Slagelse is now on its way abroad. Eighty tables have been donated to Brædstrup Humanitarian Association and are now on their way to Romania. Seventy chairs are going on a slightly longer trip to Ukraine.
According to Daarbak Bop Recycle, the majority of furniture is generally sold on to other business customers. The furniture that shows too many signs of use for it to be sold on is donated to non-profit organisations. The furniture will therefore serve a new purpose, for instance, in schools, institutions, associations or voluntary organisations. The furniture from SDU can therefore be made use of for as long as possible.
An attempt at a sustainable solution
The collaboration with Daarbak Bop Recycle is an attempt to find a sustainable solution for excess inventory, which at the same time contributes to SDU’s goal of being more sustainable and responsible. After the experiment, SDU will evaluate whether the solution meets the University’s expectations and contributes to the goal of sustainability and the responsible management of excess inventory.
SDU’s initiative shows how large organisations can take responsibility for their surplus inventory and test sustainable solutions that benefit both society and the environment. The new collaboration and the used goods exchange support the circular economy and SDU’s work with the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.
Read more: Our Global Goals